While it is still early in the season, most Fantasy owners are starting to get a good idea of which players are performing up to standards and which are not. However, it's difficult to track the 450-plus players currently in the NBA, which is where we come in. With so much attention being paid to those playing in Head-to-Head formats, we have put together a column aimed at helping those of us in category-based formats. We have once again listed the five options who may be a bit under the radar but who, we feel, will make a meaningful impact in Rotisserie formats this week. Conversely, we have also compiled a list of players who could do more harm than good this week.
Best of luck to all owners during Fantasy Week 3 (Nov. 12-18).
Find a place for 'em
Mario Chalmers, G, Heat (@HOU, @LAC, @DEN, @PHO): Chalmers has very quietly gotten off to a fast start this season as he is averaging 7.7 points, 5.6 assists and 1.7 steals over the first seven games. However, what has been most impressive about Chalmers' game has been his outside shooting. The 26-year-old has been heating up as he has connected on 6 of his last 11 3-point attempts (55 percent), and three of the four opponents he will face this week are allowing opponents to shoot over 35 percent from downtown. That bodes well for Chalmers as he continues to see open looks as the result of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade drawing constant double teams; and he is already averaging 2.7 3-point attempts per contest. While he has put up decent numbers in the steals and assists departments thus far, Chalmers could be in for a very productive week if he can knock down some shots. (Owned: 59 percent of leagues)
Shannon Brown, G, Suns (DEN, CHI, @LAL, MIA): After getting off to a slow start during the opening week of the season, Brown has seemed to find his range over the past few games. The 26-year-old continues to be used as coach Alvin Gentry's first man off the bench and responded by posting a solid 17 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and one steal during his four games played in Fantasy Week 2 (Nov. 5-11). Brown shot 46 percent (21 for 46) from the field during his run but his scoring numbers were really helped out by his ability to knock down 3-pointers. He went 12 for 21 (57 percent) from behind the arc last week and is shooting a career-best 44 percent from downtown on the year. While he doesn't look to have the most favorable schedule on tap this week, Brown will get plenty of looks as the team's sixth man and has never been shy about firing away from outside. Owners looking for help in scoring and 3-pointers should consider rolling with Brown in the upcoming scoring period. (Owned: 21 percent of leagues)
Ronnie Brewer, F, Knicks, (@ORL, @SAS, @MEM, IND): Brewer has been one of the biggest surprises in Fantasy thus far as he has thrived playing small forward in coach Mike Woodson's starting lineup. After averaging just 6.0 points per contest each of the last two seasons, Brewer is averaging 10.5 points per game while making 47 percent of his shots from the field over the first four games this season. He is also averaging a career-high 7.0 rebounds to go along with 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals on the year and is shooting a ridiculous 53.8 percent from downtown. We would expect Brewer's production to fall back closer to his career averages as the season progresses, but Fantasy owners looking for a low-end option that can provide solid all-around production, should continue to ride Brewer's hot hand for at least another week. (Owned: 16 percent of leagues)
Larry Sanders, F, Bucks, (@PHI, IND, NO): Sanders hasn't been much of a factor in most Fantasy leagues over his first two years in the league, but has made his presence felt during the early portion of the season. After scoring in double figures in just three of his 52 games last year, the 23-year-old has scored in double figures in all five of his games this season and is averaging an impressive 12 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over that stretch while seeing a career-best 27 minutes per game as Milwaukee's backup center. He is also shooting 66 percent from the field and 88 percent from the free-throw line and appears to be a permanent part of coach Scott Skiles' rotation right now. While Sanders doesn't offer much production in the assists and steals departments, he does give owners another solid option at a very thin center position. He is also eligible at forward, which is just another reason to get him active this week. (Owned: 55 percent of leagues)
Omer Asik, C, Rockets, (MIA, NO, POR, @LAL): Asik did not get off to the best start offensively as he was just 7 for 20 (35 percent) from the field over his first three games. However, the 7-footer has seemed to find his range of late as he shot 44.8 percent from the field over his last three contests and is averaging 11.3 points and 11.3 rebounds over that stretch. He has scored in double figures in each of those contests and averaged 9.7 field-goal attempts, which means the Rockets are trying to establish him in the paint. While Asik has always been a good source for rebounds and blocks, he can really take his game to another level if he can get his scoring into double digits most nights. Now he looks to have somewhat of a favorable schedule this week as Dwight Howard is the only All-Star caliber center he will face over the next seven days. We strongly recommend getting Asik active in most category-based formats this week. (Owned: 80 percent of leagues)
Put 'em on your bench
Devin Harris, G, Hawks (@POR, @GS, @SAC): Harris started the year in the starting lineup but has since been moved to the bench and has struggled in his new role. He is only seeing around 20 minutes per game most nights and is averaging a putrid 5.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.8 rebounds on 35 percent shooting from the field. The 29-year-old is used to having the ball in his hands and looks very uncomfortable when he is not being used as a point guard. While Harris' ability to fill up a stat sheet has made him a viable play in most Rotisserie formats in seasons past, we recommend leaving on the bench until he adjusts to his new role with the Hawks. Even with enticing matchups on tap against the defensively challenged Trail Blazers, Warriors and Kings on the docket, Harris should not be starting in most formats this week. (Owned: 51 percent of leagues)
Courtney Lee, G, Boston, (@CHI, UTA, @BKN, TOR, @DET): Lee's short tenure in Boston has not gone very well as he has struggled to get himself going on the offensive end of the floor. The 27-year-old, who is a career 38 percent shooter from 3-point range, is just 2 for 12 on the year from downtown and has scored in double figures in just one of his six contests. He was even shut out in his last contest and is averaging just 1.5 rebounds and 0.8 assists, which is not going to help make up for the lack of scoring. Even coach Doc Rivers seems to be fed up as he took Lee out of the starting lineup for Boston's last game. While Lee will continue to see big-time minutes until Avery Bradley returns from injury, he should not be starting in any big-time Fantasy leagues. Despite Boston being the only team to play five times this week, we recommend sticking Lee firmly on the bench. (Owned: 17 percent of leagues)
Caron Butler, F, Clippers (CHI, MIA): We chose Butler as one of our starts last week after his red-hot opening to the season, and of course, he then proceeded to go ice cold. After connecting on 62 percent of his field-goal attempts over his first three games, Butler then shot 38 percent from the field over his next four games and went just 5 for 13 from 3-point range over that stretch. He averaged 7.5 points per game during his cold streak and now looks to have a pair of touch matchups on tap in Fantasy Week 3 (Nov. 12-18). The Clippers are the only team with just two games on the docket next week and those contests are against two of the league's better teams in the Heat and Bulls. While Butler should be able to get himself back on track before too long, this doesn't look like a good week to bank on that happening. (Owned: 41 percent of leagues)
Antawn Jamison, F, Lakers (SA, PHO, HOU): Jamison was supposed to be the Lakers main scoring option off the bench this season, but that has not been the case thus far. In fact, the 36-year-old has failed to score in double figures in each of his first seven games and is averaging just 17 minutes per game thus far. While he is obviously signed up to take on a smaller role with the Lakers, few expected Jamison's production to be this bad. Keep in mind he averaged 18 and 19 points in his last two years in Cleveland and has also been able to contribute in other areas of the box score. However, it appears the Lakers haven't figured out the best way to use the veteran thus far and that likely won't happen until they at least bring in a new coach. Fantasy owners should leave Jamison shelved in the majority of formats this week. (Owned: 17 percent of leagues)
Andris Biedrins, C, Warriors, (ATL, @MIN, @OKC): With Andrew Bogut sidelined for the next 7-10 days, the Warriors have been forced to make Biedrins part of their rotation again. The 7-footer fell out of favor in Golden State over his last three seasons as he has become a liability on the offensive end of the court. And after watching his first two games back in the rotation, it appears nothing much has changed. The 26-year-old has scored in double figures in just one of his last 68 games and has just two points over his 28 minutes of game action this year. He also shot just 11 percent from the free-throw line and will be counted on more for his rebounding and defensive prowesses when he's own the floor. While Biedrins could be in line to see some extended minutes this week, he should not be starting in the majority of Rotisserie formats. (Owned: 3 percent of leagues)